Any seeking direction on the key decision of marriage can learn from the world view only to join the alarming divorce and abuse statistics … but in Bible times, there were “fairy-tale” marriages …that were blessed, fruitful and divinely destined. Ruth’s marriage to Boaz was an example. Boaz was rich, classy, respectful, royal and a good husband even though Ruth was a poor widower from the wrong clan. We can learn from Ruth.
Rth_2:8 Then said Boaz unto Ruth, Hearest thou not, my daughter? Go not to glean in another field, neither go from hence, but abide here fast by my maidens: Rth_2:21 And Ruth the Moabitess said, He said unto me also, Thou shalt keep fast by my young men, until they have ended all my harvest. Rth_2:22 And Naomi said unto Ruth her daughter in law, It is good, my daughter, that thou go out with his maidens, that they meet thee not in any other field.
There are three principles worth using to check if you are on the right path.
1. Receive corrections from spirit filled mentors and put away the flesh. Ruth was advised by Boaz to glean by the maidens, but she told Naomi something different. She told Naomi what her flesh advised i.e. to glean in the field where the young men were. Naomi corrected her to stay with the maidens. The flesh is the natural instinct that corrupts our interpretations and drives our passions. It is always the first hunch and can be an overriding push into error. The flesh is a magnet that draws us to the wrong person. Spirit filled mentors are rare servants of God who can bring divine instruction that is contrary to natural instinct …after all, it made sense for Ruth to hang out with the young men, if she was to make the kind of progress she needed. The flesh can be like Laban hindering Rebekah or it could be your uncontrolled passions causing your heart to beat faster. Like Ishmael, Adam, Saul all came first, our first thoughts on marriage tend to be always wrong and must be quickly put away or they will always eventually attack any future spiritual insight.
Gal_4:29 But as then he that was born after the flesh persecuted him that was born after the Spirit, even so it is now.
2. Be busy, be a worker ... a diligent person . Boaz found Ruth not at the evening soiree or lazing in the park. She was gleaning. No matter how demeaning you perceive the work you can find … be industrious, do not be afraid to use your hands or find a trade or learn a skill. A young girl should not be at home idling – brushing her hair before the mirror - with nothing to do, for soon she will attract a poacher and not a husband. In the royal household, Ruth had more than enough time to rest.
Pro 31:10 Who can find a virtuous woman? for her price is far above rubies. 11 The heart of her husband doth safely trust in her, so that he shall have no need of spoil. 12 She will do him good and not evil all the days of her life. She seeketh wool, and flax, and worketh willingly with her hands.
3. Practice sacrificial obedience. A faithful and loyal wife is not an accident … she has already been taught, practiced and tested in many difficult scenarios demanding courage. Ruth cleaved to Naomi although it made no sense, she would have done better for herself in Moab. Orpah her sister-in-law did what made sense but Ruth understood differently. Ruth was practiced in sacrificial obedience. No wonder she soon attracted the man of destiny despite all the misgivings. A wife practiced in faithfulness is more to be cherished than she who spoils a man with lingering kisses.
Pro_27:6 Faithful are the wounds of a friend; but the kisses of an enemy are deceitful.
The man of destiny is not any man that hastily walks in to ask for your hand in marriage. The man of destiny comes at the ordained time, never a moment late and never early. You cannot accelerate his arrival or seduce him to propose quickly nor will he be driven off by your apparent disqualifications.
Marriage is a covenant event ordained by God for His divine purpose and not to fulfill romantic notions. Remember in the Garden of Eden, man and woman were created for eternity. God hates divorce not just because divorce has its severe costs and it does, but because it mirrors the devil’s lie that the Church (the bride of Christ) will not be forever joined with her first bridegroom. Divorce disputes the forever settled truth “what God has put together let no man put asunder”
Same-sex marriage and neutralizing gender corrupts the revelation of how Christ (the bride groom) unconditionally loves the Church (his bride) and the lessons of submission of all things to Christ. There are challenges in the relationship between Christ and His Church, but in the end the Church is without spot or wrinkle … spotless. Marriage, as God ordained it, is a fundamental institution unfolding rich mysteries to guide our Christian walk and eternal destiny.
Are you single? Do not trifle with a marriage decision, or marry because you are getting old or out of a nagging frustration arising from external pressures or a whim to just get over with it. Do not say it is too late for me. Be more aware that a wrong marriage decision is the reward of the wicked - an early accelerated entry to hell….for which there is mercy but no easy exit - for God does not permit divorce even when we have made wrong decisions. It is death that mercifully separates the unbelieving spouse from his partner. But a union mentored by the Spirit of God is indeed a great blessing … perhaps second only to the blessing of salvation. Learn from Ruth. She was blessed and a blessing to generations.
There is mercy for the divorced and grace for the erring and the fallen … but it is always best advised to take heed … to be cautious when still in right standing.